November 20, 2012

Digital Media Awards 2012

This month’s Digital Media Awards ceremony in Beijing as part of the Digital Asia Festival highlighted some world-class creative thinking from across the region. I love this gold winner in the social media category from DDB DM9JaymeSyfu in the Philippines. It’s an integrated digital campaign by Gabriela, one of the world’s foremost advocates for women’s rights, that used Facebook in a simple but impactful new way that turned every participating profile into an ad for the campaign.

Another gold went to Clemenger BBDO Sydney for their TEDx project in the media innovation category. They answered the question “What Twitter Would Look Like, Without A Laptop Or Smartphone”. They produced a one-off installation that visualised the flow of ideas around the room in real time.

Wunderman (in partnership with Ogilvy, IKON, and Naked) took gold in the FMCG category with this innovative integrated campaign for Coke. They took the world’s most iconic brand and handed it over to the public using personalization on a mass scale. After 125 years of putting the same name on every bottle of ‘Coke’, whey tried something new and printed 150 of Australia’s most popular names on ‘Coke’ bottles and cans then invited Australians to ‘Share a Coke’. I really like the way they connected digital with physical experiences to make the brand even more social.

In the automotive category the BMW Crop Circle campaign by Interone China took silver. Their task was to create awareness for the compact BMW 1 Series family and to incite the target audience to register for a driving event. They leveraged a simple truth: Chinese people are very superstitious. Anything mysterious triggers immediate strong attention and passionate discussions. They used the fact that there had never been a crop circle in the country. See the case below.

For all the winners click here.

July 5, 2011

12 Social Trends

Interesting presentation showing 12 social trends from Cannes. OK, I know it is over but it just keeps on giving…
January 28, 2011

Month of tweets #1

Since moving to China my time on Twitter and here on my blog has dropped considerably. I’m transitioning from my weekly tweets roundup (which was not that regular if we are being honest) to a monthly one. So here is the 1st in my Month of Tweets…

2011 – the year of HTML5?… RT @BenShaw: PSFK » Nike’s New Site Uses HTML5 to Scroll Towards A ‘Better World’

  • I’ve heard that it doesn’t work on an iPad (I still don’t have one!!!). Interesting all the same.

Cyber stalking is good for business 🙂 RT @ericphu: I love this KLM campaign idea… brilliant.

  • Everyone has probably seen this by now. But if you haven’t then you’ll wish you had this idea.

Angry Birds unplugged? A new board game inspired by the app

  • Milking the idea for all it’s got before people get bored…

Clever stuff from Brazil… Gol Airlines: Mobile Controlled Banner Game – on DigitalBuzzBlog

  • Few people will have the patience to do this but it doesn’t stop it from being an innovative idea.

Amazing… RT @thaz7: Great read from @fastcompany on the influence of the social networks in China.

  • Seeing it firsthand is quite something. If you think social media is big then it’s even bigger in China.

Scary? RT @GaryPHayes: The Future According to Schmidt: “Augmented Humanity,” Integrated Into Google | Fast Company

  • How far does Google want to get inside our lives? This article might make you a little nervous.

Nice concept… Nike connects global runners via ‘Ekiden’ social contest –

  • When you have such a powerful branded utility platform like Nike Plus there is no end to the ideas you can build upon it. This one from Japan connects runners from all over the world. Great idea from W+K.

As usual I like to end with a smile. This banner concept brings to life the Ikea self-assembly philosophy perfectly.

Sweet idea for Ikea… RT @hardwidge: Ikea: Unbox the Banner 2 on BannerBlog:

December 28, 2010

The digital year ahead

The end of a year is always a time when people look backwards but mostly when digital trend watchers look forwards to the coming year.

It seems like for the past 10 years everyone has been saying that the coming 12 months will finally be the year of the mobile. Everything seems to point this being true in 2011 but in ways that nobody expected. It isn’t just about phones any more but now the tablet is allowing people to stay connected away from the PC like never before. Expect to see a whole selection of new products appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that will allow people to connect wherever they are – with each other and with brands.

What does this mean for the world of advertising? Location-based marketing will grow even more in 2011 according to Jesse Thomas in a recent article on Mashable.We are moving from people “checking in” to impress their friends to more retailers giving special offers to those people who drop in regularly. This is leading to a whole new way to drive traffic to stores and gives marketers a powerful tool to reward visits.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that Augmented Reality on smartphones will go mainstream. In this article in the New York Times, Nick Bilton explains how this technology has moved from being a geeky gimmick to a truly useful tool. It’s not just about looking through your phone screen to reveal hidden information or seeing yourself with a virtual girlfriend. People are now at home watching TV and augmenting the experience with additional content on their phones or tablets. In the case of ABC TV network app where the tablet listens to the audio of the TV show and is able to display relevant information at key moments in the program.

Social media is not going away in 2011 and many are predicting that it will grow even stronger as a marketing tool. In the Harvard Business Review David Armano presents six trends, for me the most interesting of which is the move to a more open social experience where campaigns cross boundaries between various social networks. This comes from the reality that people don’t stick to one social platform but dip their toes in many different ponds.

Now that I’m based in China it’s interesting to see how they fit into this picture. The country may have come late to the digital marketing party but is fast catching up. With our own social networks, location-based tools and microblogging services – not to mention the explosion of digital devices in the hands of the consumer – China is poised to impress the world with some amazingly creative and effective examples of 21st century advertising. The sheer numbers of online customers and their passion for all things new makes China a wonderland for switched-on marketers. While viral videos still seem to be the most popular online medium for brands we will hopefully see more active forms of participation through the smart use of mobile while more campaigns will become social-centric allowing increased participation.

As this digital decade ends and another begins we can look to the One Club to remind us of the best digital campaigns of the past 10 years. From a Subservient Chicken to Nike shoes that talked to your iPod, through to an online video that literally changed the face of advertising and gave us the word “viral”… enjoy some of the best work that will no doubt appear like ancient relics 10 years from now. Yet their ideas will still stand strong even if technology moves on. Creativity never gets old.

June 11, 2010

IKEA Play Report

This is a great initiative from IKEA using the power of social media to encourage people to play more with their kids. Check it out here on Facebook.

June 10, 2010


Pepsi seem to be betting their marketing dollars on socially conscious marketing. Now their (and related brands) barcodes are being used to unlock karma-positive initiatives. It all began late last year when Pepsi decided to switch their budget from huge traditional campaigns, starting by dropping costly ads during the Superbowl for a social media campaign that offered to give people grants for ideas that Refresh the Planet. It was all about Power to the People (that drink Pepsi – hopefully).

Now (as reported on POPSOPPepsiCo is “exploring a new initiative to communicate with consumers through its products. PepsiCo will share custom content on the social impact of PepsiCo products which will be accessible by scanning a bar code with a “bar code” reader smartphone application. By exploring how a Universal Product has the potential to be a “Universal Purpose Code,” PepsiCo believes there is an opportunity to deliver consumers the information that matters to them, while creating a two-way dialogue between PepsiCo and consumers”.

The idea is being piloted during Internet Week and is powered by Stickybits, a start-up technology that brings digital content to real-world objects through barcode scanning. POPSAP go on to say that “this collaboration marks the first-ever branded page experience or “official bits” for Stickybits. To advance this technology, PepsiCo is assembling a council of leaders in social responsibility and social media—led by digital influencer Gary Vaynerchuk—to explore the potential of the Universal Purpose Code concept”.

How many brands will be jumping on the karma bandwagon and will consumers care? Brands need the goodwill of customers and this is certainly one way to make it happen.

June 3, 2010

Print vs. Social Media

Love this video from  Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri showing that sometimes print campaigns are all you need…

May 14, 2010

Get social

Erik Qualman from Socialnomics produced this video, an update of his original video from 2009 that had about 2 million views on YouTube. It has the latest stats, figures and information on everything social. Shame the soundtack makes it feel like it’s 1999 when social media was just a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. via the DigitalBuzzBlog

March 10, 2010

Conversations = conversion

Arto Joensuu, Head of Digital Marketing at Nokia, and the rest of his search & social team are spreading the message that conversations are the new conversion across Nokia and beyond:

“Smart brands embrace the notion of co-creating social practices with customers and listen carefully to when these come to life in specific usage contexts of a particular product. These conversational conversions are the future for brand success as they are fueled through advocacy. Conversations are thus the new conversion metric smart brands will start to measure”.

via the We are social blog

February 5, 2010

2020 Vision

It’s been a fascinating 10 years in digital which began with the burst of a bubble and ended with another one in full expansion, driven by a social media gold rush and the app economy. I’ve posted a few articles here about the trends to watch in 2010 but I thought I’d go even further. Since the last ten years have felt like the blink of an eye let’s jump to 2020 – which will be here faster than you can imagine. What will the world of advertising look like then? Like the video above? Or something very different? Let’s get in the Delorean, turn on the flux capacitor and fast forward 10 years….

Putting the ME in media

Social networking has exploded in the past 5 years. Since the famous Time Magazine Person of the Year cover in 2006 that declared You as the winner – thanks to the web 2.0 phenomenon – the idea of user-generated content and viral media hasn’t stopped growing. Social search is now a buzzword with recommendations by friends being valued as a way for brands to get new customers. In 2020 this will be taken to new lengths where anyone can be an advertising medium. Jason Sandler with his is already a frontrunner in this.

Now picture this – you will be paid by brands to place their products in your life. The more popular you are the higher your price will be. In an age when anyone can be a micro-celebrity, endorsement deals will run from branded lifestream pages to being paid to eat certain things, wear particular brands of clothes or frequent the hippest night spots. The Foursquare mayor of the hottest club in town will be there because he’s being paid. In the same way that sites let Google sell space on their site, people will allow Google to sell their life to the highest bidder. Who needs to work when you are handed all the products you want so your friends can see you using them? “Google me” will have a whole new meaning!

Roles reversed in the future ad agency

In 2020 there will be a new breed of advertising agency. You won’t find so-called “creative people” with their feet on desks dreaming up new campaigns. The ideas will be created by the focus groups that once told agencies if they liked the campaign concepts. Brainstorms will involve the very people who will end up seeing the brand messages. Now the guys who used to come up with ideas will be reduced to talent show judges, sitting on a panel to say which of the customer-generated ideas are worth running with. Needless to say, the results won’t be very beautiful. As Michael Lebowitz of Big Spaceship recently said, “I like the wisdom of crowds but I don’t like the output of crowds”. Is this what all future advertising will look like when the man in the street takes control?

Living in the clouds

Cloud computing is still a relatively new thought to many people. Fast forward ten years and our whole lives will be in the cloud. Go into Starbucks in 2020 and pick up one of the dirt cheap iPads lying around. Using biometric sensors it will immediately give you access to all your personal information and media files. It will know what coffee you prefer so it will be just brought over to you. Your invisible cloud will be cross-referenced with the clouds of everyone else in the cafe. If your status is “looking for a good time” you’ll be paired with the person nearest to you that matches your brand preferences, sexual tastes and income bracket. You’ll each receive a photo of your match then you can make your move. Don’t worry about paying for your coffee – Starbucks is one of your sponsors and all your friends have just been told that you’re having a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte right now.

What do you think the world of advertising will be like in 2020? Leave your comments.